National Fire Prevention Week...Every Second Counts
By Deputy Fire Chief Jason Brooks
October 8, 2017

In a fire, every second counts...time can mean the difference between residents escaping a fire or becoming entrapped in their home. That's why the 2017 Fire Prevention Week theme is "Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!"...everyone needs to have an escape plan.

During Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 8th-14th, the Twin Valley Fire Department joins the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in reminding local residents to be prepared and to practice an escape plan. In 2016, the nation's fire departments responded to 365,500 residential home fires, which resulted in 2,560 civilian deaths. Conditions in a modern house fire contribute to a much smaller window of time for people to escape safely, sometimes in as little as two minutes after a smoke alarm sounds.

Unfortunately many people treat the sounding of a smoke alarm as a nuisance to be ignored, but in reality, the alarm is an urgent call to action. It is the first step to enact a plan to get you and your family out of danger and to summon help. A home escape plan should include having working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place that’s a safe distance from the home. Developing and practicing a home escape plan is like building muscle memory. That pre-planning is what everyone will remember to spring into action and escape as quickly as possible in the event of a fire.

Steps you can take to prepare an escape plan:

•Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.

•Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.

•Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can't help them.

•Make sure the address number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.

•Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire. Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building. Call 911 once you are safe.

•Once you get outside, stay outside and never go back inside a burning building.

To learn more about this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out” and home escape planning, stop by the firehouse any Thursday evening to talk to a TVFD firefighter!!

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